- Justin, thanks so much for taking the time. Kevin Burkhardt the guys will jump with you in a second, but man, fun to watch it. Watching the game with all these hitters, they're all making all these noises with all the stuff that you had tonight. Just tell us what it's like to have the ability to put a team on your back and kind of say, hey, I got you tonight.
- Oh, man. I mean, first of all, that's not the mentality that you have. I think, you don't say, hey, I'm putting the team on my back. You go out there and you just try to throw shut down innings and keep your team in the game obviously. Severino was going really good early and you just knew, you had a feeling it was going to be one of those ballgames where the first person to blink is likely going to come up the loser.
So the defense behind me, I can't speak to how much those guys helped me. I mean they play in the first inning with Carlos turning that double play, and obviously the Springer play late in the game, seventh, you know, those things are game changers. And I mean these guys make it a lot easier for me to go out and trust my stuff and throw the ball over the plate and try to be aggressive.
- Hey, Justin. Alex Rodriguez here. I know that you and I have had some epic battles over the years, going back to '06 and '07. We talked about before the game you're throwing to all quadrants and using four pitches. Personally, I've never seen your stuff be better or sharper. Do you feel that way?
- Thank you. Yeah. Actually, I do. I mean, I found something in the middle of the season and it just clicked for me. I'd been searching for something for literally three months, I felt like for the start of the season I just knew it wasn't quite right. And as soon as I found it, man, it was step on the gas really. It was a little bit [INAUDIBLE] thing, but you know, I don't need to get in all the particulars of it.
But I mean, I felt like since that point it's been getting better and better and better. And it's really culminated in the last couple of starts. I've been as sharp as I've been all year.
- Hey, Justin. What's up brother? This is Big Poppy right here man. Congratulations, man. I been having so much fun watching you pitch at me, especially not have to face you. Hey, let me ask a question. How do you feel about your location? Your location has been unbelievable with velocity, your off speed pitches, your breaking ball, your slider. Your change-up tonight was unreal. How do you feel about it?
- I mean, obviously, I feel pretty good now. You know, I mean, it's one of those things that that's what you work so hard throughout the season. You're fine tuning. You're always fine tuning something until you find it and then once you find you're just trying to keep it.
So I feel like coming down the end of the season everything was working the way I would have liked and was able to kind of really just concentrate on every start out, just getting better and better with my location.
And really everything. I made some big adjustments. You're talking on my slider. I made a really big adjustment with my slider. I really started throwing it completely different later in the season and that's been huge for me. I've been in a lot of swings and misses with that and setting up some of my other stuff better.
- Justin. Keith here. I thought the key at bat was after in the seventh inning, when you walked in had the hit by pitch. You had nobody out, runners on first and second. Hicks up. You dropped the backdoor curve or a slider on him that was a strike and it got called a ball.
And I saw the expression on your face. That at bat to 3-2 with a lot of foul pitches and I think you struck him out with the slider. Could you walk us through that at bat?
- You know, yeah. I mean, that was a close pitch called a ball. I think I threw back to back curve-balls. I thought the second one might have been a strike. It was called a ball. And then you're just kind of resetting. OK. Now what? And was able to throw fastballs and get myself to two strikes. 3-2, he gave me a great at bat. He was giving me a great battle.
And then I threw a cement mixer slider, 3-2 that he fouled off to left field and I called McCann out and said, hey, we're going slider again. And it was so many foul balls and in my head I knew that was the game right there. I was saying that this is the game. I need to execute this pitch right here. It comes down to this one pitch. And was able to throw probably the best slider I threw all day and get a swing and miss. And I felt like that changed everything.